Pests.org mosquito forecast is predicting a mosquito population slightly above average for the Midwest, including Missouri. That could make for an itchy summer at the pool, on the Katy trail, or at your 4th of July celebration. So you may want to spray yourself with bug repellant before trying to enjoy the great outdoors.

Their forecast predicted higher than normal rainfall for the Midwest, which has come true. Which probably will lead to a slightly above average mosquito population this summer. According to Pests.org, Michigan experienced three to twelve inches of rain over two weeks last year which trippled or quadrupled the mosquito population. With all of our rain this spring, followed by warm temps, I don't think we'll escape them this year.

Neither does pest control expert Mitch Shipman who tells KSHB,  "give it about two or three weeks and we’re going to have thousands of mosquitoes everywhere."

Mosqutos in the Midwest tend to carry higher rates of reported mosquito born disease, so it's important to protect yourself from getting bitten. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection reccomends using EPA registered insect repellants that include one or more of the following: DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), Para-methane-diol (PMD) and or 2-undecanone. Learn more about these repellants on the CDC website here.

In addition to using insect repellants they reccomend wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants, controling mosquitos indoors and outside, and being just as vigilant about mosquitos if you're traveling overseas.

Don't forget about your dog either. Heartworm is caused by mosquitos. So make sure your dog is on a heartworm preventitive. Additionally, many flea and tick preventitives also protect fido against mosquitos. So make sure to keep up with their protection, and if they're not protected talk to your vet about what products work the best for your dog breed. You can learn more about mosquitos and Heartworm here.

One last thing Shipman told KSHB we can do to manage the mosquito population, eliminate standing water that collects after storms in everything from birdbaths to that ashtray sitting on your deck. Standing water is where mosquitos breed. I'm hoping for a hot, dry, summer to get rid of some of the moisture, but I'm not holding my breath. I will however hold my breath when I spray on my mosquito repplenat before walking the dog. That might be the best advice I've got to battle mosquitos this summer short of moving to the desert.